“Let us move on from pre-occupation with whether the law should enforce morality by accepting that the law does, and should, depend on moral values”
Over the centuries, much has been written on this subject. First, I would like to start by explaining the meaning of the words law and morality. Following the Oxford Dictionary of Law, the law is the enforceable body of rules that govern any society or one of the rules making up the body of law, such as an Act of Parliament. We can also add that the law is inextricably linked with the state. The same dictionary defines moral law as the body of laws to which individuals feel themselves subject, often through their religious beliefs.
From the above definition, legal and moral standards are very similar, because that which is prohibited by law is also frequently condemned by our society. However, when we turn these situations we find that what is condemned by society is not always prohibited by law. Breaking religious or moral standards is often not prohibited by law. The same law and morality in different countries, cultures and circles can be seen differently. Also the times we live in determine what we think is moral and what is not. Throughout centuries, these two things have changed.
An example of how the times in which we live make the law is the era of communism. The brave deeds of people who wanted to restore the independence of Poland were prohibited by law. The Communists, who wanted at all costs to maintain power in Poland and other Eastern European countries under the influence of the Soviet Union, severely punished behaviour they saw was to the detriment of the socialist system. The actions of people who openly demonstrated their beliefs and fought for Poland to regain its independence were punished with imprisonment, exile to Siberia or backbreaking work in labour camps. The same was true in areas dominated by the Fascists and the Nazis during World War II.
Today’s society is having issues with...